Ribbon leaves- the easy way!

So now you know how to make flowers out of coffee filters, cupcake liners, and even a few ways with ribbon. To help your flowers feel more complete, you can finish them off with a few green ribbon leaves at the base, here’s how!

Ribbon leaves cover
You will need:

Green ribbon
Scissors
Candle with matches / lighter
Glue to attach to flower

Start by cutting your ribbon into strips between 3-4 inches in length. The length of these strips will determine how much (if at all) your leaves will peek beyond the flower petals. To better estimate the length needed for the size of the flower, I like to measure from the base of my flower to the tip of the outermost petal, and add a little bit more. All your ribbon strips don’t have to be the same exact length, so don’t get too caught up with measuring!

ribbon cut shapes 1

Once you have your ribbon strips cut out (image 1), you can trim the edges to create a pointed edge (image 2). To make this process easier and more symmetrical, you can fold your strip in half and cut both sides at once.

I prefer to use a lit tealight candle to singe the edges of the ribbon pieces, but you can also use a lighter if you are comfortable. Since we are dealing with open flame here, use your common sense and be safe and careful. I have burned my fingers more than once doing this! So feel free to use a pair of long tweezers or pliers to have a comfortable hold on your ribbon away from the flame.

Gently singe off the ribbon edges near the flame, and if you like round out any edges and add curve to your leaves by briefly holding your ribbon a few inches above the candle.

Easy! Now attach your ribbon leaves to the base of your flower using your choice of glue. Hot glue works great in this case.

Adding leaves helps give a more complete look to my flowers, and they look a little more polished and “finished”. I recommend adding leaves in groups of 3 or 5, as odd number groupings look best. For bonus points, use watercolor or fabric paint to add darker or lighter areas to your leaves!

Ribbon leaves pin

Embroidery Thread Organization- for free!

If you are like me, the majority of your crafting supplies stash is a cluster of cardboard boxes and zip bags stuffed to capacity, organized in a way that only makes sense to you! While this may work most of the time, it definitely can cause some frustration, as materials may get entangled and become unusable, especially thread and ribbon. Here is my mess of embroidery thread / floss before:

threads

You could always order these cardboard floss bobbins, or, you can very easily make your own! AND you get the satisfaction of re-using a discarded material for a new crafty purpose! 🙂

To make my own organizers for embroidery thread, I used an empty granola bar box, and cut it up into flat pieces, and then into squares with two slits on one side:

cardboardtemplate

You can make these pieces any size that works for you, I ended up with more narrow pieces towards the end as I was running out of cardboard!

Once you have all your pieces cut, you can start winding your thread. Start by securing one end of the thread in one of the slits, then loop the rest of the thread around the cardboard piece. When you reach the end of the thread, secure the end in the second slit, and you’re done!

embroidery thread

This organizational project is very rewarding, as you will be able to see exactly all the different colors you have, making it easier to come up with new color combos for your crafts! Now all my embroidery thread stays compactly contained, and no more dreaded tangles!

rainbow thread

What are some fun ways you organize your stash? Share your tips in the comments! I am in the process of re-arranging my crafting space, so any advice helps! ❤

When your decor budget = $0

Starting from scratch. That’s a daunting thought, right? But what if that was the case: empty space, zero budget, go. How would you make it comfortable, stylish, YOU?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Up-cycle and reuse: when your pockets are empty, work with what you’ve got! Anything you can get your hands on that can be re-purposed using existing materials will work. A few examples of this are my toilet paper roll wall decor, beer bottle up-cycle, and bunting.

Hand me downs: there is NO shame in accepting previously loved pieces from friends or relatives. They may not be ideal, but they can definitely get you started! Stuck with an ugly hand me down sofa? Here are some ideas.

Learn to love simplicity: I know it can be tempting to want to fill all those shelves, hang something on every wall, and have cushions in every color and pattern. These are the things that make your space YOURS. However, restrain yourself from over-stuffing your space, as it can quickly become cluttered, fussy looking, and dust collecting! I don’t mean go totally zen and minimalist, but leaving your space relatively empty has a calming effect, makes your space feel larger and cleaner, and is great on a budget! Don’t believe me? Check out these spaces:

dorm1     bedroom

living room     dorm2


What would you do if you had to start from scratch with a $0 budget? Leave your tips in the comments! 🙂

Re-cycle, Re-use, Re-purpose: why buy new?

3 r's

One of the biggest issues I have faced as a crafter and maker is the constant temptation of buying new things. New supplies, new tools, new materials, anything that is new and shiny catches my eye like a magpie. Have you ever been to a craft store and felt like you could spend HOURS just browsing the aisles, touching everything, dreaming up all the wonderful projects you could accomplish if only you had that one thing…

I feel you. This is a challenge for me from a few aspects:

1) Budget– I simply cannot afford to splurge and go all out on craft supplies.
2) Space– I live in a small space so cannot afford the extra square footage to store all the STUFF.

So how do I satisfy that craft craving without breaking the bank and qualifying as a clinical hoarder?
I try to re-use, re-cycle, and re-purpose things I already have at home in new ways, spicing them up with a bit of imagination, and shuffle things around in an unexpected way. Here are a few examples:

Tea tins. I love tea and my family and friends know it so they always gift me tea, which usually comes in sturdy tins. A normal person might throw these out after their original purpose has been served, but I try and find ways to put this perfectly usable container to good use.

Gift wrap. Yes, I am THAT person that tries to open their gifts carefully so that the beautiful paper it came wrapped in can be used another time. Same goes for ribbon, bows, tissue paper, and gift bags. I don’t usually re-use the paper to wrap a present though, but more to create paper-crafts or decorate other items around the house.

Jars. This is an obvious one, as that is a pretty common item to re-use. Depending on the size, I use old food jars to store pens, hair accessories, homemade dry shampoo, and q-tips. These also make the perfect container / shaker for homemade salad dressing!

In some cases, it is not enough to just use the things you have, and a little something extra is needed. For budget reasons, I try to purchase most of my additional project materials and supplies from either the dollar store, or a thrift store. You will be pleasantly surprised at the stuff you’ll find!

You will notice that the majority of the projects and DIY ideas features on this site are either re-used, re-cycled, or re-purposed in some way. That is because those types of projects inspire me the most: the challenge of creating something beautiful out of something ordinary. I hope my projects inspire you to re-think your space and the items within it, and make something awesome!